Late Quaternary history around Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden and Jøkelbugten, North-East Greenland

Ole Bennike, Anker Weidick

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

85 Citationer (Scopus)


Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden in North-East Greenland is at present covered by a floating glacier. Raised marine deposits in the surrounding area contain shells of marine molluscs, bones of marine mammals and pieces of driftwood. A fairly systematic sampling of such material has been conducted, followed by extensive radiocarbon dating. We suggest that the Greenland ice sheet extended onto the shelf offshore North-East Greenland during isotope stage 2. perhaps even reaching the shelf break. During the subsequent recession of the ice sheet, the entrance of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden had become ice-free by 9.7 cal. ka BP. The recession culminated between 7.7 and 4.5 cal. ka BP, during which time the fjord was glacier-free along its entire 80 km length. No dates younger than 4.5 cal. ka BP are available on marine material from the fjord, and it seems probable that the fjord has been continuously covered by the floating glacier since this time. The maximum glaciation was attained around AD 1900, after which thinning and recession took place. The marine limit increases from c. 40 m above sea level near the present margin of the Inland Ice to c. 65 m above sea level at the outer coast. These figures fit into the regional pattern of the marine limit for areas both to the south and north. The marine fauna comprise two bivalves. Macoma calcarea and Serripes groenlandicus, that may represent a southern element present during the Holocene temperature optimum. Remains of three taxa of southern extralimital terrestrial and limnic plants were dated to 5.1 cal. ka BP, and remains of another extralimital plant were dated to 8.8 and 8.5 cal. ka BP. The known Holocene time ranges of the willow Salix arctica and the lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus have been extended back to 8.8 and 6.4 cal. ka BP, respectively, providing minimum dates for their immigration to Greenland.

Sider (fra-til)205-227
Antal sider23
Udgave nummer3
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2001


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


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